Spurs travel to Villa Park for the 16.00 kick-off on Sunday needing a result to get their Premier League campaign back on track. Last weekend’s disappointing loss to Newcastle was the low point of an up and down season.
After a good start, five losses in a row – with an aggregate score of 13-0 – have left Aston Villa down in 15th place with 10 points . Despite their recent poor form, they sit a mere four places and one point below Spurs.
Villa have the lowest shots tally of any Premier League team (8.6 per game) and have struggled going forward. They have also registered the least number of tackles (14.8 per game), a surprising statistic for a side coached by Roy Keane.
Paul Lambert normally favours a 4-3-3. His team are certainly not a passing side, with the second lowest possession in the division (41.2%).
Star striker and supposed Tottenham target, Christian Benteke, is finally back from a long injury lay-off. He could provide a handful for the Spurs centre backs and make a start on improving Villa’s shots tally.
Tottenham are favourites at 2.12, the draw is at 3.6, while an Aston Villa win is at 3.95
Fabian Delph is a big miss for the home side. He is out for a couple of months with a dislocated shoulder. Senderos, Hutton and Weimann all face late fitness tests.
Kyle Walker is still missing for Spurs, although Naughton made a return to the team in the midweek victory over Brighton. Lennon and Bentaleb are also injury doubts.
The Newcastle game was a setback and some new faces are needed but I wouldn’t make wholesale changes.
I’m quite surprised to be saying this, but Naughton should walk back into the team. Dier is a promising player but he isn’t a specialist fullback and it shows.
I would partner Fazio and Vertonghen in the centre. Kaboul has been unreliable in recent games and the combination of Fazio’s aerial ability and Vertonghen’s class on the ground should make a good partnership. Benteke will be hard to mark but Fazio has the physical presence to handle Villa’s most dangerous player.
The time has surely come to give Kane his chance up front. After another goal on Wednesday night it has become nearly impossible to overlook the young striker. In comparison, Adebayor has only managed one shot in his last three starts combined (Newcastle, Asteras and Southampton).
Prediction: Aston Villa 1 – Tottenham Hotspur 3
Villa are a much worse team than Newcastle and provide a great opportunity for Pochettino to get back on track.
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Are you confident ahead of Spurs clash with Aston Villa? Let me know in the comments below.
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Good call on Naughton. As unspectacular he is as a right back, he does bring stability to the back line. I also agree with the inclusion of Fazio. You can sense that Jan is more comfortable playing with him and in the game against Brighton, he was able to move forward with Fazio covering.
As i mentioned last week for the preview against Newcastle, I would not start Lamela. He is at his best when he’s an impact sub and his most telling contributions this season have been from the bench. On the bright side, i love how Soldado and him are working so well together.
Who would you play in Lamela’s place? Maybe put Kane in at number 10, Soldado up front and Eriksen and Chadli either side?
Yup. That would be my ideal formation. Kane is clearly more comfortable playing in the deeper role and as much as ppl tend to praise Ericksen for being a great number 10, he has not shown it consistently this season.
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